NYON: Ukraine club Metalist Kharkiv risk being kicked out of the Champions League after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings over a match-fixing case.
Last week the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed an appeal against a five-year ban from the club’s sporting director Yevhen Krasnikov. CAS upheld a Ukraine federation ruling that Krasnikov had helped to fix a league match against Karpaty Lviv in April 2008.
UEFA’s rules allow the governing body to deem a team ineligible for competition if they are found to have been involved directly or indirectly in ‘any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level.’
Action is possible back to April 2007 when the UEFA statutes were changed to allow for retrospective action.
Metalist’s case will be heard in Nyon on Tuesday in order to ensure any verdict does not disrupt the upcoming Champions League play-off round. Metalist are set to reach that stage after beating Greek side PAOK Salonika 2-0 in the first leg of their third qualifying round.
A UEFA statement said: “Proceedings have been opened against Metalist under articles 2.04g, 2.05 and 2.10 of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League regulations, regarding the admission criteria for participation in UEFA competitions.
“Due to the urgency of the case and in accordance with article 23.3 of the UEFA disciplinary regulations, the case has been referred directly to the UEFA appeals body. The case will be heard on Tuesday 13 August at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.”
** Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery comprise the shortlist for UEFA’s player of the year prize.
The winner will be decided after another round of voting on August 29, the day of the Champions League group draw in Monaco.
Leading Premier League in the voting were Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, who was eighth, and Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie who ws 10th. Van Persie top-scored with 26 goals last term as Manchester United regained the Premier League title.